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The Road Not Taken

  by Max Boot


(about 857 pages)
214,364
total words
of all the books in our library
28.27%
vividness
of all the books in our library
5.97%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
2.62%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.11%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.51%
non-ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library

clippings from this book

We’ve analyzed hundreds of millions of words, from thousands of different authors, training our linguistic models to recognize the most vivid words in the English language… the words that create the most intense sensory experiences: colors, textures, sounds, flavors, and aromas.

Based on our analysis, we’ve scanned through the pages of this book to find the two pages at the extremes, both the most-passive and the most-vivid pages, so that you can compare them side-by-side and see the difference:

MOST PASSIVE PAGE
MOST VIVID PAGE
merely scribble “finis” and let it go at that? Or does one merely keep silent and thus let it be understood that everything is all over. This would have been the easiest thing to do… just like running away and hiding and refusing to face facts. It would have been very cowardly too. I think what we have or had, deserves something better than that. It is so hard to give you up without a struggle which I suspect you are ready to do. The years go by, people change and the things they want are different. I wish I could just keep on feeling the same old way, happy to compromise, blind to almost everything except to be with you, to love you and have you love me, to be content after some fashion. But things have changed. I feel I must keep faith with myself. I have reached a bridge and it has to be crossed. I am no longer contented with just knowing you love me and being with you now and then. I want more. I want to have the right to be with you for always, to have security and peace and happiness. You need me too. You will be needing more as time goes on, when there will be no more countries to save, no more wars to be won, no more troubles to shoot. Without us together, your life will just be one long, continuous work—empty in the end. There won’t be trip to a U.S. Army camp outside Manila aboard a crowded troop train. He and the other soldiers were packed like cattle into cars that were normally used to transport sugarcane. As the train chugged along at 15 mph, someone “started ‘moo-ing’ like a lonely cow and the moo-ing was taken up all along the line.” From the “trainload of moos,” Lansdale could see that the “strikingly beautifulcountryside had not been affected by war to the same extent as the harbor. He sawpalm huts on stilts with vivid green banana fronds making a border for a blue, blue sky marbled with towering fluffs of cumulus clouds, and before this background of sky and hut and fronds was spread a rice paddy intersticed with small raised dikes and the green rice sprouts making a staccato vertical pattern broken by big old water buffalo plodding along, with a copper skinned old man, all bent, straw big brimmed coolie hat on his head, following after.” When the train reached Manila, such bucolic scenes were replaced by further reminders of the legacy of conflict. “Stone walls along the roads were gouged and holed,” Lansdale wrote, “tall apartment houses and hotels and public buildings—the ones that earned Manila the name ‘Pearl of the Orient’ showed gaping holes, sagging concrete floors open to view, and with rusty iron girders all twisted and bent and dangling out of crumbled concrete twenty stories up like dried worms baked in the sun while still wriggling

emotional story arc

Click anywhere on the chart to see the most significant emotional words — both positive & negative — from the corresponding section of the text…
This chart visualizes the the shifting emotional balance for the arc of this story, based on the emotional strength of the words in the prose, using techniques pioneered by the UVM Computational Story Lab. To create this story arc, we divided the complete manuscript text into 50 equal-sized chunks, each with 4287.28 words, and then we scored each section by counting the number of strongly-emotional words, both positive and negative. The bars in the chart move downward whenever there’s conflict and sadness, and they move upward when conflicts are resolved, or when the characters are happy and content. The size of each bar represents the positive or negative word-count of that section.

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